In response to the problems of high coordination costs among the poor, efforts are underway in many countries to organize the poor through "self-help groups" (SHGs) -- membership-based organizations that aim to promote social cohesion through a mixture of education, access to finance, and linkages to wider development programs.
LTD Editors's blog
Food price spikes, price insulation, and poverty
This paper looks into the impact of changes in restrictions on staple foods trade during the 2008 food price crisis on global food prices and also analyzes the impact of such insulating behavior on poverty in various developing countries and globally.
Shanta Devarajan and Marcelo Guigale have a CGD working paper on 'The Case for Direct Transfer of Resource Revenues in Africa.'
"Policymakers should be cautious in interpreting the plunge in gold prices as a vote of confidence in their performance," says Ken Rogoff on 'Golden Slumbers.' Read it here.
"Education is the only solution. Education First" - Malala Yousafzai. Read the full text of Malala Yousafzai's speech at the UN here.
A short video shared via Twitter highlights Bill Gates' recent India trip. He covers the rotavirus, agricultural innovation, and a joint TV appearance with Bollywood star and development activist Aamir Khan.
World Bank researcher Damien de Walque's recent results from a Randomized Control Trial in Lesotho of a lottery scheme to reduce risky sexual behavior was presented at an AIDS conference in Malaysia and covered in Bloomberg.
The World Bank updated its classification of the world's economies based on estimates of gross national income (GNI). Among other things, Russia moves to high income status; also, Chile, Lithuania, and Uruguay become high-income for the first time.
"Japan ahead of China in forging Africa Partnerships" is the title of a piece in The Global Times.
John Makin of AEI has a piece on troubling taper talk from central banks. Read it here.
In "What if we're looking at inequality the wrong way?', Tom Edsall of NYT's Opinionator blog writes about the views of Richard V. Burkhauser of Cornell as well as those of his co-authors.
Robert Skidelsky advocates for a universal basic income, received by all citizens on an unconditional basis in his post, "Playing by the rules," in Project Syndicate. Read more.
Bill Gates blogs on three things he's learned from Warren Buffet.
In a review on Joe Studwell's 'How Asia Works,'book Tyler Cowen hails this latest book on successes and failures of Asian industrial policy, including some of the more ruthless aspects of chaebols in South Korea:
The WSJ's Real Time Economics has a piece titled "Emerging-Market Volatility Shows 'Herd Mentality'" by Ian Talley based on this week's launch of Global Economic Prospects 2013 (summer edition).
- weekly round up
The much awaited UN report proposing new post-2015 development goals was released last Thursday. Goal one is to end poverty by 2030. While the development community is receptive to the report’s focus on sustainably ending poverty, some are asking why inequality isn’t included. To know more on what’s in and what’s out, read the post by Claire Melamed here.
Related to development goals, Lucy Martinez Sullivan, Executive Director of 1,000 Days, has a post titled 'Leaning in on Ending Malnutrition' on Huffington Post, citing the stark reality that 3 million young lives are lost each year to a condition that is completely preventable.
Three new Policy Research Working papers, a Project Syndicate piece by Ken Rogoff, and an Eduardo Porter column in the New York Times, titled ‘A Keynesian Victory, but Austerity Stands Firm,’ made for an interesting week.
A working paper published this week by Milanovic Branko uses multiple techniques to gauge how close measured inequality is to the maximum inequality that can exist in a given society. Looking at historical data tracing back several centuries, Branko finds that inequality in colonies was pushed almost to its maximum. Branko also looks beyond inequality as measured by income inequality to inequality in social terms.
Harry de Gorter, Dusan Drabik and Govinda Timilsina have a working paper on the relationship between volatility in crude oil prices, biodiesel and oilseeds (soy beans and canola). They find that higher crude oil prices increase biodiesel prices if biofuels benefit from a fuel tax exemption, but lower them when a blending mandate is imposed. When both canola and soybeans are used to produce biodiesel, an increase in the crude oil prices lead to higher canola prices, but the effect on soybean prices is ambiguous.
About 70% of India's salt comes from the state of Gujarat, where about 70,000 self-employed small-scale salt workers/producers often have to borrow money from exploitative lenders-cum-traders who fix a low price for the salt. However, this might be changing. A social enterprise initiative, called “Sabras,” now allows salt producers to borrow money at a much lower rate. To learn more about this, read the article from the Guardian.
The following blog post is an excerpt of a speech delivered by Pascal Lamy at the ‘Conference on International Cooperation in 2020’, held in The Hague on 7 March 2013.
The current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have roughly a thousand days to go before their end-2015 target date. The significance of the MDGs lies first and foremost in the fact that they gave the world a shared development agenda. They identified a set of shared goals around which we could collectively mobilize and they established time-bound goalposts for progress, many with quantifiable targets, against which we could measure our performance.
But beyond these targets and goals, the MDGs placed poverty reduction at the top of the global agenda. In doing so, they reshaped policy priorities, galvanizing the attention and interest of governments, international organizations, the private sector, and individuals.
- MDGs and Beyond 2015